Maternal health services in Samburu County have received a major boost after the M-PESA Foundation constructed and equipped a newborn unit at Maralal Referral Hospital. This was done through the Uzazi Salama project, a partnership between M-PESA Foundation, Pharm Access, AMREF and the County Government of Samburu.
The newborn unit constructed at a cost of KES 19 million will provide neo-natal services for up to 20 infants. The unit has been equipped with incubators, oxygen machines, baby scales, surgical equipment, blood pressure monitors, phototherapy machines among other assorted items. The facility also has beds for new mothers.
“We would like to reduce the number of maternal and infant deaths in the County of Samburu. Today, we have taken infants into consideration and we hope that their health and futures will be secure. We encourage more public-private partnerships as demonstrated here in combating health challenges around the country,” said Les Baillie, Executive Director, M-PESA Foundation.
Samburu’s Marti Health Centre also received a newly equipped ambulance worth KES 10 million. Expectant women living between Baragoi and Maralal towns will be able to reach health centres in time using the ambulance while also receiving health services on transit.
The Uzazi Salama programme entails; improving health service delivery infrastructure; capacity building of health workers; enhancing community-based information and education, and health care financing.
The programme has achieved a 75% Increase in utilization of maternity services with over 3,000 Community Health Volunteers trained not only in Samburu but in 12 other counties under the Health Programme.
In addition, the referral support system of Samburu County has been strengthened through equipping the County health management team with an ambulance command center. There has also been a significant decrease in maternal and newborn health morbidity and mortality rates in the whole of the Samburu County.